Law firms & companies continued to hire despite the recurrence of Covid-19

We saw a good level of hiring activity in July despite the 3rd wave Covid-19 slowing lateral hiring in Asia, especially Hong Kong. As many reports stated that China is winning the Covid-19 economy recovery race, including the legal market, Chinese firms dominate the Asian legal recruitment market since Q2. Since Q3, Australia overtook Singapore to pick up in legal lateral hire markets.  Our quarterly review provides an overview of the key appointments in Asia Pacific:




  • We see a 26% growth in key appointments in Q3 compared to Q2 and 94% compared to Q1.
  • The APAC lateral market was very active in July when the pandemic showed easing in Asia.
  • The outbreak of the 3rd wave of Covid-19 in Hong Kong in August deeply affected the recruiting activities in the region.




  • China led the hiring spree with 54 significant hires in Q3 followed by Australia (28) and Hong Kong (23).
  • Australia and Hong Kong remain stable overall compared to other countries in the region.
  • The recurrence of Covid-19 in Singapore from the middle of July to August has a strong impact on their economic activities. As a result, Singapore saw the record lowest lateral hires in August.
  • India observed a substantial drop in lateral hires in July.





  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices dominated the lateral hires in Q1, Q2 & Q3. In August, the practices saw record-high hiring numbers (26).
  • Resolutions/Arbitration/Investigations practices saw steady growth from Q1 (17) to Q2 (23) and Q3 (25).
  • Restructuring & Insolvency saw a record-high hiring spree in July.

Contributor: Fai Choi (Marketing Manager, Hughes-Castell)

Editor: Sam Kenworthy (Director – Head of Private Practice, Hughes-Castell)

Published by Hughes Castell

Asia's Premier Firm for Global Legal, Compliance, Risk and Regulatory Executive Search

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